PICTURE YOUR REALITY
What or who would you like to be in the future? Would you like to be successful, prosperous, loving, patient, popular, healthy? We all aspire to something in the future.
What would it be like if you had those qualities now – if the future could be brought into the present?
In some ways it can. Certainly, you might not be able to bring the actual item into the present – the success itself, or the popularity might still take some time to develop. But you can bring the attitudes that accompany that state into the present, and in so doing not only enjoy some of the benefits of that state right now, but also dramatically increase the possibility of your desire being realized.
So, if you want to be successful, adopt the attitude of a successful person. Tell yourself, “I am successful”. Behave as successful people behave. Or if you want to be more patient, think of yourself as a patient person now. The reality follows the thinking, not the other way around.
The writer Dan Custer claims that we have a mental picture of what we think we are – he calls it the “ego-image”. This picture influences how our life proceeds. “The picture we have of ourselves is what provides life (with) a pattern over which it never fails to move,” he says. “The picture we carry of ourselves in our minds is the cause of our experiences rather than our experiences being the cause of the picture.”
Custer recommends that we replace our ego-image with the “ego-ideal”. In other words, we change the picture we have of ourselves to the picture of who we ideally want to be. Hold onto that picture as the reality and your life will soon begin to shape itself around that picture.
Holding on to the ego-ideal can be challenging, and we can be tempted to revert to a less helpful ego-image. Entrenching the ego-ideal takes discipline and constant affirmation – it is not just hopeful daydreaming, it is constructive, focused work creating and holding the ego-ideal. Focus on your ego-ideal, think about it, affirm and accept it daily. Soon your attitude and behaviour will begin to be that of the ego-ideal, and the qualities you desire for your future will follow.